The incident took place at a construction site of Patanjali Mega Herbal and Food Park at Ghoramari region.
The video shows the heartbreaking scene of the calf repeatedly tapping and nudging its mother’s lifeless form in apparent confusion.
It is a sight that highlights the increasing man-animal conflict in India. An elephant calf in Assam mourned the death of his mother and refused to leave her side.
On Wednesday morning, the calf had run out of an elephant herd towards a construction site for the Rs. 1,300-crore Patanjali Mega Herbal and Food Park in Assam’s Sonitpur district and was followed by his mother and another elephant calf. The mother elephant, who suffered injuries after falling in the pit, died 19 hours later on Thursday.
While one calf was able to come out of the pit, the other stayed with the mother’s body, and had to be rescued by locals.
The Assam Forest Department has filed a police complaint against the builder of Patanjali Mega Herbal and Food Park for negligence in providing safety to wild elephants and digging pits at the construction site.
There were more than 14 open pits and some of them were filled up with earth after Forest Minister Pramila Rani Brahma visited the site after the death of the elephant, Jasim Ahmed, Additional Conservator of Forest, West Sonitpur Forest Division, said.
The Forest Minister instructed the builder to keep half of the over-200-acre land free from construction through which the elephants could move.
The foundation stone of the Patanjali Mega Herbal and Food Park was laid on November 6 by Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal in the presence of Patanjali founder and yoga guru Ramdev, Union Minister of State for Heavy Industries Babul Supriyo and state Industries Minister Chandramohan Patowary among others.
Dilip Nath, member of Aranya Surakha Samittee, Sonitpur, told Press Trust of India that the place was known to be an elephant zone often frequented by them from the nearby forest.
Meanwhile, state Congress spokesman Apurba Bhattacharya claimed that as the area was an elephant corridor and used by the animals for giving birth to their calves and that the previous Congress administration in the state had not allowed the government land to be given to anyone.